Andlau was founded in the 9th century around a monastry. The monastry was built by a wife of king Carl III, Charles le Gros. As she could not give birth to children she as sent out into the wilderness. There, she met a bear who scratched its paws on the ground. The qyueen thought that the scratches resembled a map, and interpreted this as a sign of God and used the map to find the perfect location for the monastry.
The bear is still a symbol for Andlau. For sure, the decorative cookie, shaped as a bear, that you get with the local ice-cream would never had been put there unless the tale were true. Right?
Andlau has only 86 ha of vineyards in a narrow valley. The geology is extremely complex, and the three Grands Crus are very different in style.
Wiebelsberg is the largest Grand Cru, and its sandstone gives relatively light and lively Rieslings. Moenchberg, on granite, gives succulent wines. Here Pinot Gris performs very well. From Kastelberg, a unique terroir on schist, a handful of growers produce sone of Alsace most exciting wines, loaded with minerality.
Andlau has few but brilliant producers. Do not miss this tucked-away gem in Alsace!